In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, is the setting important to the story line?Some examples from the novel would really help as well.

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James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The different settings in Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God are definitely important to the story line. I'll be happy to talk about two examples. I'm sure that you and other posters can come up with additional examples.

The all-black town of Eatonville is an important setting in the novel. It is the place which Janie leaves with Tea Cake and to which she returns without him. It is also the creation of one of her former husbands, who built the town so that he could rule it.

A second important setting is the migrant worker camp in southern Florida. The camp is described as "squatted so close that only the dyke separated them from great, sprawling Okechobee." That detail of location is what makes possible the important role of the hurricane in the story. Think of the camp as a late 1920s version of the ninth ward in New Orleans and the hurricane in the novel (modeled on a real hurricane of 1928) as equal in power to Katrina. In both cases, the protections fail and the poor people are washed away.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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